(1)   The occupation for which you are paid
"He is looking for employment"
"A lot of people are out of work"
(2)   The act of using
"He warned against the use of narcotic drugs"
"Skilled in the utilization of computers"
(3)   The act of giving someone a job
(4)   The state of being employed or having a job
"They are looking for employment"
"He was in the employ of the city"


From to employ (itself from from employer (=modern), from empleier, from implicare "to enfold, involve, be connected with", itself from in- "in" + plicare "to fold") + -ment


  1. A use, purpose
    I expect you'll put my gift to good employ!
  2. The act of employing
    The personnel director handled the whole employment procedure
  3. The state of being employed
    1853 Melville, Herman Bartleby, the Scrivener, in Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories, New York: Penguin Books, 1968; reprint 1995 as Bartleby, ISBN 0 14 60.0012 9, p.3:
    • At the period just preceding the advent of Bartleby, I had two persons as copyists in my employment, and a promising lad as an office-boy.
  4. The work or occupation for which one is used, and often paid
  5. An activity to which one devotes time
  6. The number or percentage of people at work